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This ended up feeling disjointed due to it being a compilation of lectures borrowed from other Great Courses series I would have preferred if it had been what I expected one lecturer telling me why each book changed the world, rather than an out of context summary lecture about each book borrowed from another lecture series. I miss college I will always miss college I miss listening to professors share their passions about people of history, places in time, concepts, and books this collection of short lectures were intriguing and I enjoyed each one If I were to create my own list of 36 books it would vary somewhat, but that may be due to the fact that I know little to nothing about some of these For me that made this set of lectures even compelling This is my first Great Courses book, but it will not be my last I have already purchased two.I highly recommend that you listen to each lecture in a separate sitting giving yourself time to absorb it much the way that you would if you were in the classroom with the professor. 36 Books That Changed the World is an anthology of lectures published by The Great Courses The lectures taken from other pre recorded courses aim to highlight 36 literary masterpieces that had significant impact on the world It is, in essence, a book about books.As with all Great Courses, the professors are highly regarded in their respective fields It s enjoyable listening to scholars genuinely excited about their topic And these lectures being drawn from a variety of disciplines provide the listener the opportunity to learn about important books from historical, literary, and comparative perspectives among others.However, it s an anthology that is forced together without rhyme nor reason The lectures are stripped from the context of their original purpose and they presuppose knowledge from previous lectures in their own series The lecture on Nicomachean Ethics, for example, is only a discourse on the contents of book ten of Aristotle s ethics.Two stars are given due to the disjointed nature of the lectures and the disconnect between the contents and course title The listener essentially is left with 36 lectures that offer only partial insight into a book without ever really discussing how it changed the world.There may be other Great Courses anthologies that contain lectures diligently chosen that those of this volume However, it s unlikely I ll afflict myself with another course in this style.In my opinion, however, it would be a disservice to discourage anyone else from purchasing this Great Course It might perhaps be beneficial to a listener who knows exactly what he or she is getting which is basically some lectures about books randomly tossed together. I tend to enjoy these selections from the Great Courses gives me the chance to preview some classes I might not have considered otherwise. I have mixed feelings about this audio compilation It consists of 36 lectures from various university level courses cobbled together Most of the lectures are good, some very good indeed, but a few are just meh at best The lectures are heavy on philosophy, sociology, and religion, and IMHO much too light on science and technology.I bought this from Audible Audio Unfortunately, they provide very spotty information and don t even give a list of the contents For that you need to go to The Great Courses site where you can find a list of the lectures with short descriptions of each.The introductions to the lectures are sketchy at best For some I would really like some in depth discussion of how that particular work changed the world.There are some glaring omissions For example, how could any such compilation not include Newton s The Principia Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy as it was one of the most important single works in the history of the human race In spite of my caveats, the lectures were still worth my time well, most of them anyway.3.5 stars. This is a set of lectures about important books in history The lectures vary based on the book impact and the lecturers ability to captivate the audience Many of the books are quite long and difficult to process i.e Koran, Bible, Gita The impact of the books is what defines their greatness Here are my favorite lectures Bhagavad Gita Common Sense The Koran A Dictionary of the English LanguageThe JungleThe spoiler contains a complete list of books and lecturers view spoiler 1 The Epic of Gilgamesh by Grant L Voth 2 Homer s The Odyssey by John M Bowers3 The Bhagavad Gita by Grant Hardy4 Sun Tsu s The Art of War by Andrew R Wilson5 Confucius s The Analects by Mark W Muesse6 Herodotus Histories by Elizabeth Vandiver7 Plato s The Republic by Dennis Dalton8 Aristotle s Nicomachean Ethics by Robert C Bartlett9 Ovid s Metamorphoses by Elizabeth Vandiver10 Marcus Aurelius s Meditations by Luke Timothy Johnson11 St Augustine s Confessions by William R Cook Ronald B Herzman12 The Koran by Grant Hardy13 Fibonacci s The Liber Abaci by Dorsey Armstrong14 Dante s The Divine Comedy by John M Bowers15 Machiavelli s The Prince by William R Cook16 Copernicus On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Orbs by Lawrence M Principe17 Shakespeare s Hamlet by John M Bowers18 Cervantes Don Quixote by Ronald B Herzman19 The King James Bible by John Sutherland20 Francis Bacon s The New Organum by Alan Charles Kors21 Denis Diderot s Jean le Rond d Alembert s The Encyclopedie by Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius 22 Samuel Johnson s A Dictionary of the English Language by Seth Lerer23 Thomas Paine s Common Sense by Peter Conn24 Adam Smith s The Wealth of Nations by Jerry Z Muller25 Madison s, Hamilton s, Jay s The Federalist Papers by Daniel N Robinson26 The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Arnold Weinstein27 Mary Wolstonecraft s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by John Sutherland28 Alexis de Tocqueville s Democracy in America by William R Cook29 Marx s Engel s The Communist Manifesto by Jerry Z Muller30 Harriet Beecher Stowe s Uncle Tom s Cabin by Arnold Weinstein31 Charles Darwin s On the Origin of Species by Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius32 John Stuart Mill s On Liberty by Jay L Garfield33 Upton Sinclair s The Jungle by Peter Conn34 Martin Heidegger s Being and Time by Lawrence Cahoone35 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Irwin Weil36 Betty Friedan The Feminine Mystique by Patrick N Allitt hide spoiler This is a set of interesting lectures, all snipped from other courses on various topics, and compiled here under the title 36 Books that Changed the World I enjoyed listening to the bulk of the discussions, although some functioned better as a good introduction than others Many are books I have no intent to read, although their impact on civilization is undeniable Favorite lectures The Quran, A Dictionary of the English Language, The JungleLeast favorite Being and Time, Hamlet, The RepublicIn all, quite enjoyable. As is typical with anthologies compilations, it s a mixed bag But some of the other reviews and criticisms are far too harsh I found than half of these lectures enjoyable or downright fantastic, and I consider this a nice sampler of various topics that I would probably not indulge in a full lecture series on by my own choice The most noticeable issue in my mind is the variance in audio quality and speed, with lectures requiring 1.25x 2x speed to seem, well, reasonable Otherwise, another smashing product from the Teaching Company. I have somewhat mixed emotions about this collection, which is of an assortment The selections are really good, until perhaps the ones in 20th century I m not entirely sure I agree with all the selections especially after the 25th book The presentation is fragmented each book being presented by different academics, which kind of breaks the flow In addition some of the selections are transplanted from other courses, so it is or can be a repetition if you are already familiar with it Some of the books are presented almost as a dialogue and discussion very similar to podcast , which is slightly disappointing in a collection qualified as book Overall good content, wish though they had tailored to it the actual title.Also, there is quite a bit of overlap with Prof Rufus Books That Have Made History , so if you have done that already, I d find very little merit in doing this. ^FREE BOOK ⇺ 36 Books That Changed the World ⇷ Certain Works Of Literature, History, Science, Philosophy, Political Theory And Religion Offer Powerful Examples Of How Books Can Spark Revolutions, Birth Great Religions, Spur Scientific Advancements, Shape World Economies, Teach Us New Ways Of Thinking, And Much And With This Fascinating Collection Crafted From Our Extensive Library Of Courses, You Can Now Get A Single Course That Represents Of Our Best Lectures On Literary Works That Changed The WorldIn The Company Of An Unparalleled Roster Of Award Winning Professors From A Range Of Disciplines, You Ll Get Fresh Perspectives On Books You Only Thought You Knew And Intriguing Introductions To Some Works You May Not Have Known Played Key Roles In Getting Us To Where We Are Today These Include The Analects, The Liber Abaci, A Dictionary Of The English Language, The Jungle, The Feminine Mystique, AndIf You Ve Taken Another Course With These Professors Before, Get A Reminder Of Just Why You Enjoyed Them And If You Ve Never Heard Some Of Them Before, Who Knows You May Just Discover Your Next Favorite Great Courses Professor More Than That, You Ll Rediscover Just How Powerful The Printed Word Can Be You Ll Also Learn How The Mark Of A Truly Great Book Isn T That It Just Changes The Lives Of Individual Readers But The Lives Of Entire Civilizations